Students will be introduced to the basic statistical analysis methods, with hands-on experience analysing health data using statistical software. Assistance is available to students through tutorial activities and online help.

This course is a core course of the Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health and Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence programs and associated dual degrees, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program. A value of 6 UOC requires a minimum of 150 hours work for the average student across the term.

Mode of study

External (Distance) and Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus

Key contact

A/Prof Timothy Dobbins
Course Convenor
+61 (2) 9385 3379

Who should do this course?

Students are recommended to enrol in this course early in their program. The course is available to internal and external students and assistance will be available through tutorial activities and online help. If possible, students who are concerned about numeracy should consider enrolling in the course as an internal student.

Course outcomes

This course aims to provide students with the core biostatistical skills to apply appropriate statistical techniques to analyse and present population health data.

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. summarise and visualise data using statistical software
  2. demonstrate an understanding of statistical inference by interpreting p-values and confidence intervals
  3. apply appropriate statistical tests for different types of variables given a research question, and interpret computer output of these tests appropriately
  4. determine the appropriate sample size when planning a research study
  5. present and interpret statistical findings appropriate for a public health audience.

Learning & teaching

The approach to learning and teaching in this course is based on adult learning principles. Students are expected to integrate prior knowledge with new concepts. A large component of the teaching strategy of this course is the application of the techniques taught in the course through self-directed learning activities and assessment tasks. These reflect the learning objectives of the course and are drawn from real studies. Students can self-assess their learning by reviewing the ideal answers to learning activities and assessments tasks. 

The course is taught over the university term in 10 modules, with pre-course introductory videos available online. Each module comprises::

  • course notes and worked examples
  • a two-hour lecture 
  • learning activities 
  • a face-to-face tutorial (internal) or online webinar (external)
  • online discussion forums.


Assessment Task 1 – 4 Quizzes
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Task 2 – Assignment
Weighting: 40%

Assessment Task 3 – Assignment
Weighting: 40%

Readings & resources 

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

1. Course pack

  • The course notes with readings
  • Weekly learning activities

2. Recommended texts

3. Stata statistical software 

  • Students can access Stata software on computers in the Wallace Wurth Building computer laboratory. If you are not able to come to campus, you will need to purchase your own licence so you can complete the weekly learning activities and assessments. We use Stata/BE Version 17 for this course. Stata/BE is the Basic Edition of Stata and is more than enough to carry out all the tasks in an introductory level as well as advanced level biostatistics course. Students can buy a six-month licence for AUD$76 or a one-year licence for AUD$148 from Stata (Note that prices are correct as of March 2022).